Postcards from Istanbul /9

“You are always my concern. Nothing has happened to me to make me suddenly think more intensely of you… you, beautiful things and gloomy things are spread over my fleeting days” – Ingeborg Bachmann to Paul Celan May 1949 (unreceived letter) Mosaics are works of art comprising thousands of broken pieces. They are perfect symbols […]

Postcards from Istanbul /8

“She was like a landscape you see from the train, and you want to stop just there.” – Graham Greene, ‘The Living Room”   What a difference a smile makes. How it shifts landscapes and ruins the topography of the heart. And how it does and undoes the shoelaces of our reserve, our restraint, and […]

Postcards from Istanbul /7

“You are a colander, sometimes losing things. Sometimes what keeps you alive is a mystery.” – Aracelis Girmay   Another night, another room, in another hotel in a city so many thousands of miles away. In my life so often it occurs to me that the more I love, the further the object of my […]

Postcards from Istanbul /6

“She inspired you, you loved her and sang of her; her task was done.” – Franz Liszt in a letter to Hector Berlioz, 1854   The give of a soft pear surrendering to my teeth. The burst of plum in my mouth; juice dribbling down my chin onto my helpless blue shirt. The tickle of […]

Postcards from Istanbul /5

“Or give me back one shred from our hundreds  of days – a forgotten word, or look – that I might lie here counting  them, like sheep, waiting out the dark.” – Greg Johnson, Insomnia   Dear, sweet one. Gratitude today for the precious few moments I received to see you. Your face that I […]

Postcards from Istanbul /4

“When I met you, you were both for me: the sensual and the spiritual. The two can never separate…” – Paul Celan to Ingeborg Bachmann Paris, 31 Oct 1957   Precious, precious one. The day closes on me again. I am left wondering just how little life is and how fleeting our time on earth. […]